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Michael Appleton's side are gearing up for their second successive Championship campaign since winning the League One play-offs in 2021.
The Seasiders finished 16th last season as they retained their second-tier status after winning 16 of their 46 league games. Preparations for the forthcoming campaign got off to a winning start for Appleton's side who enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Southport. CJ Hamilton and Beryly Lubala scored the goals as the Championship outfit secured the win over their National League North opposition. However, the game made headlines for events which transpired in the stands as fans clashed in the opening half of the match.
Been at Southport v Blackpool - a ‘friendly’ suspended for 10 minutes after supporters scrapped during the first half. Fans were warned that the referee would abandon the match if there was any further issues. There wasn’t, nor was there any more goals. 2-0 to the visitors pic.twitter.com/DyswHLu2gL
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) July 2, 2022
A number of visiting supporters are understood to have broke through the steward barriers to confront the home fans who allegedly goaded them. Referee Ben Speedie called both sets of players off the field for 10 minutes while tensions cooled at Haig Avenue.
The stadium announcer told supporters, as quoted by the Guardian: "It makes me very sad to have to make this announcement at a friendly but the referee has stopped the game for 10 minutes.
— NonLeagueDaily — By Betting.co.uk (@NonLeagueNews) July 2, 2022
"We would like anyone that's on the terraces to move up to past the halfway line and if anything happens like that again the referee has made it clear he will be abandoning this match, so behave yourselves." There were no further clashes, nor goals, in the second half as Blackpool changed their entire line-up.
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